StreetWorks is a collaborative program which is jointly governed by HIV Edmonton, Radius Community Health & Healing, Boyle Street Community Services, Alberta Health Services – Edmonton Zone, Catholic Social Services, the University of Alberta Northern HIV Clinic, and the Edmonton Police Service.
StreetWorks has six fixed daytime exchange sites, one of which is located at Radius. In addition, the program has a van which operates six evenings each week, and staff members go out on foot to perform outreach during the day.
Harm reduction is the attempt to assist people in their given practices and lifestyle realities. It stems from the realization that drug use and other high-risk behaviours exist. “You’re not going to help anyone by being judgemental and excluding them from access to services.” By providing the resources such as clean tools, and education, individuals can reduce the harm they do to themselves and others. You also helps to build connections and trusting relationships, so that when people want to make changes, they will come and ask about the next steps.
Access to clean equipment is essential to lessen the spread of infections. Therefore, StreetWorks provides clean needles, alcohol wipes, clean water, condoms, lubrication, vitamins, and first aid supplies.
In addition, StreetWorks provides nursing services, a business program to help local businesses keep their establishments safer and healthier, an advocacy program called Natural Helpers, health education, and a prison program to assist individuals within the criminal justice system to remain safer and healthier.
- Increase the knowledge and understanding of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and other health issues that affect the target population.
Assist the target population in maintaining and improving their own health.
- Provide service users with the skills, knowledge, resources, and support needed to remain safer and healthier.
Assist and act as advocates to improve accessibility to supports and services as needed.
- Create trusting relationships with members of the target group and give positive feedback in order to build self-worth.
- Increase the knowledge and understanding among organizations, community agencies, and individuals about the target population and harm reduction practices.
StreetWorks is in partnership with the businesses listed above.